October 20, 2014

Twitter Tries Retweet With More Room for Comments

retweet with comment 2

Have you ever wanted to comment on a retweet? You can, of course, but only if the tweet is short enough.

On the Web, your only option is to copy the tweet you want to comment on. (It needs to be much shorter than 140 characters to even do this.) You then open a new tweet box and paste the tweet in it.

Next you add the letters “RT” in caps before the retweet, and then the author’s Twitter handle. (This is why you need so many extra characters!) Finally — if you can fit it in — you add your comment in just a few characters at the beginning and hit “tweet.”

There’s a more automated way to do it from a mobile app called “Quote Tweet.” But it’s not available on the Web version of Twitter yet. (See more details from Twitter on the retweet process in the Twitter Help Center.)

But more recently, apparent experiments on a new retweet with comment feature promise to do more.

The new feature, which initially appeared in a couple of tweets by Carolyn Penner (shown below), who serves as Twitter’s chief of communications, seem to allow for a longer comment above a full retweet.

retweet with comment

Twitter has yet to even acknowledge this retweet with comment feature, and it doesn’t actually seem to give you any more characters to play with in your tweet reports Mashable. Instead, it seems to embed the retweet as an image, and then gives you a little under 140 characters to comment just above it.

A couple of other select Twitter users seem to have been given the new feature to play with as well. But it has since vanished from the posts where it was first spotted, though Mashable managed to get a few screen captures first.

The new post experiments seemed to also be from a mobile device, so there’s no telling whether there’s a Web version in the works.

Of course, Twitter is being as tight lipped as ever simply referring all media inquiries to its famous post on Twitter experiments back in 2013.

So right now, we have no idea whether the new retweet with comment feature is something Twitter is planning to roll out soon or at all. But it certainly would change the conversation.

Images: Twitter Photo via Shutterstock, Mashable

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Shawn Hessinger - Editor


Shawn Hessinger Shawn Hessinger is the Editor for Small Business Trends. He is a journalist and social media networker with more than a decade of experience in the traditional newspaper business before moving to the digital world. He was the former community manager of BizSugar and the former community editor at AllAnalytics, a site dedicated to professionals in the business intelligence and analytics community.

7 Reactions

  1. I guess this is a good thing as it will encourage more conversation on Twitter. Instead of simple “I like it” comments, people can now express how they truly feel.

  2. Hi Shawn,
    That was interesting. The importance of posting a comment directly under the blogpost never entered my mind. I usually just go back to twitter and comment. Thanks.

  3. It would be really good for Twitter to roll that out. It’s a good idea. Makes sense. But, you know, I won’t be surprised if Twitter chooses not to go through with it for whatever reason.

  4. Great new feature and I’d love to get my hands on it. It would allow tweeters to put more in their tweets because right now I’ve been shortening my tweets to below 120 characters so that RTs were possible and even shorter to allow for comments.

  5. Not sure if this functionality will make it to a full feature, but I’ve been wishing for this for a long time. Instead of the cumbersome manual RT & squeeze in a comment, or edit the original tweet. This functonality would allow me to say why this tweet is worth retweeting, or who this retweet is for.

    Some of my followers are newbies to Twitter, orhters are old hands at social media. One of them questioned by I retweeted a Twitter 101 type of post, as she expects the cutting edge from me. I explained my mixed following. with this feature I could say – here’s a Twitter 101 or basics tweet, or here is an advanced Twitter tip.

    The only down side I see is “trolls” and the like – people who make nasty comments about celebrities etc. It would make that easier for them to do so.

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